Rory Stewart is what many would call eccentric.  Two weeks after the fall of the Taliban, Stewart traveled to Afghanistan to walk from Herat to Kabul.   His account of that walk, The Places in Between,  is a quirky book.   It’s about his walk across the rugged terrain of Afghanistan, but it is also about the history of the area, the isolation of the people, the ebbs and flows of allegiances and alliances, and about his almost crazy dedication to a goal.

For me, the snippets about the region’s history, both distant and not so distant, were the most compelling.  The book also is a good resource for travel fanatics and those interested in ethnography and anthropology.   It’s not a fast read – after all it is about a walk that lasted months – but it is worth the time it takes to follow in his footsteps.